Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.
Review Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
The book Influence: Science and Practice written by Robert B. Cialdini, who received his graduate and postgraduate training in persuasion and social influence from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University. The book shows how much of human behaviour is automatic, as we go through life we develop “rules of thumb” as shortcuts to decision-making, these shortcuts can be used to influence others. An example shortcut occurs when we assume that if something is expensive then it’s of good quality. These rules of thumb work for us the majority of the time. Drawing from research in the field of social psychology, this book explores six “rules of thumb” or principles of persuasion and how they can beused to persuade and influence others.
The Six Principles of Influence
The book explores in detail the following six principles of influence.
Reciprocation. The rule of reciprocation states that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. Research shows that there is no human society that does not subscribe to the rule. Trigger by uninvited favours. This rule results in the lowering of the natural inhibitions against transactions.
Commitment and Consistency. This principle is triggered by our obsessive desire to be (and appear) consistent with what we have already done. The drive to be (and look) consistent constitutes a highly potent weapon of social influence, often causing us to act in ways that are clearly contrary to our own best interests. Once we have made a personal choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment.
Social Proof. One means we use to determine what is correct is to find out what other people think is correct. The principle applies especially to the way we decide what constitutes correct behaviour. We view a behaviour as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.
Liking. Few people would be surprised to learn that, as a rule, we most prefer to say yes to the requests of someone we know and like.
Authority. It is the extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority that is the focus of this principle. We are trained from birth that obedience to proper authority is right and proper. Information from a recognized authority can provide us a valuable shortcut for deciding how to act in a situation.
Scarcity. Opportunities seem more valuable to us when their availability is limited. The idea of potential loss play a large role in human decision-making. People seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value. We know that the things that are difficult to possess are typically better than those that are easy to possess, we can often use an item’s availability to help us quickly and correctly decide on its quality.
This book is very well written and contains numerous examples from research to support each of the principles. I was constantly kept interested and intrigued by the examples and anecdotes, extracted from research, found extensively throughout the book. As I read, I was able to continually relate the principles and examples to experiences in my life, providing numerous “A-HA” moments along the way. The book does give some practical examples, which illustrates how the principles are applied. I recommend this book to anyone in management, leadership, marketing, consulting or in roles.
Arguably the best book ever on what is increasingly becoming the science of persuasion. Whether you’re a mere consumer or someone weaving the web of persuasion to urge others to buy or vote for your product, this is an essential book for understanding the psychological foundations of marketing. Recommended. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
For markters, this book is among the most important books written in the last ten years. (Journal of Mariketing Research)
Influence should be required reading for all business majors. (Journal of Retailing)
This book will strike chords deep in the hearts and psyches of all of us. (Best Sellers Magazine)
The material in Cialdini’s Influence is a proverbial gold mine. (Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology)
About the Author
Harvard Business Review lists Dr. Cialdini’s research in “Breakthrough Ideas for Today’s Business Agenda.” Influence has been listed on the “New York Times Business Best Seller List.”
Fortune Magazine lists Influence in their “75 Smartest Business Books.” CEO Read lists Influence in their “100 Best Business Books of All Time.”
Dr. Robert Cialdini has spent his entire career researching the science of influence earning him an international reputation as an expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance, and negotiation.
His books including, Influence, are the result of decades of peer-reviewed research on why people comply with requests. Influence has sold over 3 million copies, is a New York Times Bestseller and has been published in over 30 languages. His co-authored books include Yes! and The Small Big. His newest book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, is the result of many years of scientific research combined with Cialdini’s engaging style to make each chapter memorable and meaningful. It will be released on September 6th, 2016.
Because of the world-wide recognition of Dr. Cialdini’s cutting edge scientific research and his ethical business and policy applications, he is frequently regarded as the “Godfather of influence.”
Dr. Cialdini received his Ph.D from the University of North Carolina and post doctoral training from Columbia University. He has held Visiting Scholar Appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University. Currently, Dr Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University.
Dr. Cialdini is CEO and President of INFLUENCE AT WORK; focusing on ethical influence training, corporate keynote programs, and the CMCT (Cialdini Method Certified Trainer) program.
Dr. Cialdini’s clients include such organizations as Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bayer, Coca Cola, KPMG, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Kodak, Merrill Lynch, Nationwide Insurance, Pfizer, AAA, Northern Trust, IBM, Prudential, The Mayo Clinic, GlaxoSmithKline, Harvard University – Kennedy School, The Weather Channel, the United States Department of Justice, and NATO.